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Bula
24th Apr 2018, 09:40
Melbourne tower folk... what is going on guys and gals? Spent 30 minutes at the holding point today watching 6 nm arrival spacings come and go with no departures and the usual efficient voices are operating half speed.

Technical or industrial?

captains.log
24th Apr 2018, 10:08
Def subtle industrial campaign happening... runway choices etc as well...

Jenna Talia
24th Apr 2018, 11:40
Must have been an ex military controller in the tower :yuk:

maggot
24th Apr 2018, 12:00
Melbourne tower folk... what is going on guys and gals? Spent 30 minutes at the holding point today watching 6 nm arrival spacings come and go with no departures and the usual efficient voices are operating half speed.

Technical or industrial?

Oh that's Ops normal for Melbourne
Not just ATC either

Captain Dart
24th Apr 2018, 19:56
Multiple diversions from MEL including self a few mornings ago due to fog, unforecast might I add. RVR's hovering around 300-500 m yet TDZ 16, and nowhere else, suddenly drops to 50, below Cat 3B minimum. Just seemed a bit odd.

Any suspicion that their transmissiometer was dodgy? If so, could be an expensive claim from several domestic and international carriers.

GA Driver
25th Apr 2018, 00:13
We were seeing 10-15 lights most of the time, but reported threshold RVR 300-350m.....??? It did drop to that from time to time, but didn't remain.

ACMS
25th Apr 2018, 01:17
Yep and last Sunday around 1730 local at the end of school holidays when things were really busy the ATIS showed wind 250/10 and RWY 16 only being used. Nothing in the NOTAMS showing 27 closed or the 27 ILS N/A...
Flights being ground delayed due “single runway ops”

WTF...

Capt Fathom
25th Apr 2018, 04:26
That’s Australia!
Maximum inconvenience for the maximum number of people.

Bula
25th Apr 2018, 23:34
If they’re having a moment with ASA, I thought they would atleast be smart enough to know air service and landing fees still get paid. The only people they are inconveniencing are other people at work and costing tens of thousands of dollars in fuel in the process, again not ASA’s bottom line.

There are better and smarter ways, rather than pissing off others in the industry who would otherwise support them.

Monkeytennis12345
26th Apr 2018, 06:44
Maybe a single cloud appeared somewhere over St Kilda so, to be on the safe side, they dropped the rate. Just in case.....

cessnapete
27th Apr 2018, 09:38
Nothing changed then! Remember many years ago often sitting at end of Mel runway for ages, in severe CAVOK in my 747. Waiting for clearance, landing aircraft a dot in the distance, in USA or Europe could have lined up and well away. “Clearance not approved”, was always the answer!!

40years
27th Apr 2018, 12:01
Obviously Airservices is wasting an enormous amount of cash employing all those controllers when we have such a highly skilled complement of pilots who could do the job without leaving their flight deck. Yes, I know that you do it at non-controlled aerodromes with lower traffic levels and lower capacity aircraft, but air traffic control is established for those situations when pilots can't safely and efficiently do it. My 80 hours of flight deck observation when training for ATC did not give me the idea that I could jump into a DC-9 and land it, nor did I feel competent to comment on how the FO was managing, yet you skygods know it all. You're as bad as - no, you're worse than engineers.

IsDon
27th Apr 2018, 12:11
Obviously Airservices is wasting an enormous amount of cash employing all those controllers when we have such a highly skilled complement of pilots who could do the job without leaving their flight deck. Yes, I know that you do it at non-controlled aerodromes with lower traffic levels and lower capacity aircraft, but air traffic control is established for those situations when pilots can't safely and efficiently do it. My 80 hours of flight deck observation when training for ATC did not give me the idea that I could jump into a DC-9 and land it, nor did I feel competent to comment on how the FO was managing, yet you skygods know it all. You're as bad as - no, you're worse than engineers.

A valid comparison, however, is comparing the amateurs in Australian ATC generally, and MEL in particular, with your vastly more competent colleagues in Europe and the USA.

You donít need need to be able to lay an egg, in order to smell a bad one.

40years
27th Apr 2018, 12:22
A valid comparison, however, is comparing the amateurs in Australian ATC generally, and MEL in particular, with your vastly more competent colleagues in Europe and the USA.

Yes, if it is a knowledgable, valid comparison.
Been there, done that.

neville_nobody
27th Apr 2018, 12:38
Nothing wrong with the controllers it's the ridiculous rules we have in this country. Apply Australian rules in the USA and aviation would grind to a halt.

maggot
27th Apr 2018, 12:46
Nothing wrong with the controllers it's the ridiculous rules we have in this country. Apply Australian rules in the USA and aviation would grind to a halt.

Yes!! This!!

However those in the ATCO food chain in Melbs need to work this to the top

It's bad.

Bula
27th Apr 2018, 13:29
40 years, from the tower you can judge a bad landing, from the ground we can judge poor sequencing or flow. We have seperate jobs but are all part of the broken system.

it it just seems more broke than usual.

Keg
28th Apr 2018, 02:33
There are days when the sequencing ex MEL can be simply awesome with very clever use of the crossing runways and associated rates of departure. Other days it's less so.Certainly multiple configuration changes over a 30-45 minute period (without an attendant significant change to prevailing conditions) can be frustrating.

I've often felt that one of the issues we have in Australia is that we have a fair bit of traffic but not quite enough. It's easy in LAX or LHR or elsewhere to set up a sequence where there is min distance between flights on approach. In Australia we don't have quite enough traffic. So instead of the arriving traffic being at 300' when the preceding gets airborne, they're at 1000' and we've wasted a lot of time waiting for them to get to the runway.

Then again, our aircraft mix doesn't help. Places like LHR deal almost exclusively with jets with props making up a very small part of their sequence for both departure and arrivals. No doubt our sequences are harder to sort out with those sorts of speed differences.

Ex1tstageLeft
30th Apr 2018, 04:53
Pretty ironic that criticisms of inefficiency are coming from jet airline pilots. Perhaps we could expand this discussion to include issues on the other side of the ledger that lead to the perception of gaps being missed, or ATC on a go slow. Could it be that inefficiencies in the movement of aircraft at ML may be contributed to by pilots and their actions, such as repeated failure to make feeder fix times or exit hold patterns in timely manner; inability fly STAR speeds; complete ignoring of speed control instructions; inability to follow taxi instructions; unwillingness to readback instructions resulting in repeated calls; answering other aircraftís callsigns; ďwas that for us?Ē; complete non-understanding of the instruction to expedite line-ups, and that it is not an instruction to square turn onto the runway then stop; unwillingness to actually execute an immediate departure after committing to do so; utter non-understanding of the rules of wake turbulence; the list goes onÖ. If you have issues with standards by which ATC are REQUIRED to adhere to, take it up with CASA. If you think you can do a better job, come and have a go. Iíll loan you my headset.

maggot
30th Apr 2018, 21:49
Yep nothing more frustrating to sit beside a Muppet that does the slowest lineup ever after being told to expedite (maybe even a mini 737 backtrack lel). Sorry.

And yeah, there's some out there that just refuse to fly the speeds allocated or be full flap at 12 mile. Sorry.

I don't take it personally.

The system is broken.

Slippery_Pete
30th Apr 2018, 22:33
Wow, deep breaths Exit Stage Left, deep breaths.

As Bula says, if all these things are caused by pilots, why can we notice such a stark difference between when itís running well and when it appears to come to a grinding halt?

I have no doubt the odd pilot makes a mess for you every now and then (much less often than you would suggest), but that happens all over the world.

Itís probably got less to do with individual pilots/controllers, and more to do with the fact that the wind can be 220/20 and weíre all flying min speed and holds because single runway ops.

Ive even had 250/20 and they wouldnít let us use Runway 27. And donít even start me on the runway that doesnít exist (09).

Like Iíve said previously, Iíve arrive from the west to winds of 090/15 and runway 09 has been denied. The follow up phone call went along the lines of ďno-one knows how to run Rwy09, so we donít do itĒ.

In 20 years of arrivals from the west, Iíve landed on it ONCE.

The system is broken.

Captain Dart
1st May 2018, 00:52
I have been flying pretty well all over the planet for over 3 decades. It is a safe bet that pilots everywhere occasionally fly inaccurate speeds, ETAs etc, particularly after a long night. Other, busier jurisdictions manage to cope with this and remain generally efficient. There have even been noticeable improvements around a lot of Asia over the last few years. Even India.

But Australian ATC, in a relatively benign weather and terrain environment, particularly MEL and SYD, just seems to be on that razor’s edge all the time, and can still be described as anal at best, and excruciating at worst.

Very occasionally, one can experience the more switched-on controller at MEL achieving reasonable and even slick operations on the crossing runways and can think, ‘This one would do OK at Heathrow or JFK’. So maybe it is not just the ‘system’.

CaptCloudbuster
1st May 2018, 01:27
complete non-understanding of the instruction to expedite line-ups, and that it is not an instruction to square turn onto the runway .

You make many valid points.

Reads like you donít have a complete understanding also that TO Perf calculations just might have been predicated on a 90 degree turn onto the RNW.

tuck
1st May 2018, 02:16
It might help if Australia stopped building airspace for 737's and 320's. There are bigger aeroplanes out there! And whilst we can work within the confines it does mean we might need to slow a little and then speed up on a dive staying in the airspace. Or slow down, configure to be "draggy" enough to stay within the airspace. Melbourne is particularly bad.

Also remember a companies SOP's might be different to yours and have speed, config, ROD's restrictions.

Lining up a 300T plus aeroplane from "B" on 16 does take a bit of effort because somehow it wasn't possible to flatten out YMML a little better.

It would help if they used "behind the landing aircraft, line up behind" instead of waiting for it to pass.

But yes Australia did invent aviation. Don't start on the ludicrous LVO's.

framer
1st May 2018, 03:30
Exit stage left.....regarding the 90 degree turn on line up, can you remind me what the line up allowance is in meters for a 737 on a 30 degree day with the standard 5kt tailwind off runway 27 when the runway is limiting and OPT suggests rated thrust?
Regarding speed, if you hold me at 9000 I’ll slow to 240kts and then when cleared to descend further I’ll speed up to 260kts until I pick up my profile, would you expect that or expect I used speed brake to counter the [email protected] airspace design.?

maggot
1st May 2018, 04:04
More conditional lineups please!

neville_nobody
1st May 2018, 04:20
It might help if Australia stopped building airspace for 737's and 320's.

It isn't. It is built for light aircraft. Neither A320 or 737 fit into controlled airspace in at least half a dozen airports in this country. MEL being one of them.

Pretty ironic that criticisms of inefficiency are coming from jet airline pilots. Perhaps we could expand this discussion to include issues on the other side of the ledger that lead to the perception of gaps being missed, or ATC on a go slow.Could it be that inefficiencies in the movement of aircraft at ML may be contributed to by pilots and their actions, such as repeated failure to make feeder fix times or exit hold patterns in timely manner; inability fly STAR speeds; complete ignoring of speed control instructions; inability to follow taxi instructions; unwillingness to readback instructions resulting in repeated calls; answering other aircraft’s callsigns; “was that for us?”; complete non-understanding of the instruction to expedite line-ups, and that it is not an instruction to square turn onto the runway then stop; unwillingness to actually execute an immediate departure after committing to do so; utter non-understanding of the rules of wake turbulence; the list goes on….If you have issues with standards by which ATC are REQUIRED to adhere to, take it up with CASA.If you think you can do a better job, come and have a go. I’ll loan you my headset.

No sorry you have problems with your flow system. On more occasions than I can care to remember I have nailed the feeder fix time to the second only then to be sped up/ slowed down or cut in on finals.
The one I do not understand is where we have the time all programmed and get constantly harassed by ATC saying 'confirm you can meet time X' system shows time Y. And we change nothing and sail past the way point +/- 10 seconds.

The system does not work. Time to get a new system and probably some new rules as it won't be getting any quieter.

josephfeatherweight
1st May 2018, 04:38
And we change nothing and sail past the way point +/- 10 seconds.
Yeah, but you're not allowed to be 10 secs late! AIP says 30 secs early, but not late.
Feeder fix times, I can't stand them - ONLY in Australia have I come across them.
Everywhere else in the world, ATC just asks you to fly a speed...

neville_nobody
1st May 2018, 05:04
True. The point being that ATC has us out by 4-5 minutes not less than 10 seconds.

le Pingouin
1st May 2018, 05:19
Cuts both ways nev - the reason you get asked is because 90% of the time if the aircraft is looking early it's because they are. You might have nailed your time but what about the guy you're following? Or the one three ahead? What about when the one with max does better than expected? Do you want us to just leave a 3 minute gap behind him or would you rather we speed everyone behind up a bit to fill the gap and save 60 or 90 seconds each?

How many times am I told by an international heavy that they can't possibly lose 5 minutes from 250 miles out when I know they'll lose 4 minutes on profile? Regularly. Or they're early and when asked their speed the response is "280" or "300"? Again, a regular occurrence.

The sequence isn't set in concrete - the flow times are to put you in about the right place, not to space you to the nearest metre down final.

neville_nobody
1st May 2018, 05:39
The sequence isn't set in concrete - the flow times are to put you in about the right place, not to space you to the nearest metre down final

Yeah I understand that hence why we need to change the system. The current one isn't going to get any easier

le Pingouin
1st May 2018, 05:55
You can't remove all the uncertainty. Pilots will still get it wrong. Controllers will still get it wrong. There will always be a need to tweak.

morno
1st May 2018, 06:42
Personally having flown in Australia and overseas, I would rather the feeder fix time. At least you have some idea where you stand in the sequence then and can plan an efficient descent.

There's plenty of pilots out there who donít know how to manage their energy very well either. Theyíre normally the ones who are doing 160kts at 15 miles stuffing up the sequence for everyone else. If they tried that at Hong Kong theyíd be taken off the approach!

George Glass
1st May 2018, 08:14
Whoa Ex1... Are you serious? I'm guessing you are not just new to this sight but new to the whole game.In 30 years in the business I've never seen it so bad.Holding going from 10 minutes to 45 when "downwind"(????) on Rwy 27 goes above 5 kts. .Arrivals grinding to a halt when cloud base is below Rwy 34 minima but downwind on Rwy 16 is above limits on a "wet"(!!!!) runway.And no GLS. And dont give me the BS about Pilots missing feeder slot times.Do your job. Give a vector. And lineups? Lining up assuming an immediate clearance for takeoff and NOT GETTING IT ,stopping and then continuing will fail you on a line check.And on and on and on......Seriously you guys are clueless.The days are long gone when ATC were aviators.The system is broken.

DUXNUTZ
1st May 2018, 08:17
As most who fly elsewhere on the planet and have done their fare share of domestic in Oz can attest. It’s a joke. Rest of the world manage with speed, vectors etc and seems to do a good job. Here in the States the clearance; “descend to 8000 then 250kts” seems pretty clear and does what the controller intends. Even the “descend via” here works great, with just the min altitude selected and minimum amount of chatter. Flying into Brissie the other day we got a ‘descend via” but with a lot of repetition alt and speed clearances that were printed on the chart.

ozbiggles
1st May 2018, 09:37
For the ATCs on this thread I think you may be under the impression that most of the pilots responding here care about anything other than their spot...they don’t give a toss about the big picture. Mr Glass gives one of the most juvilnile responses even for PPRUNE, a big effort. Not everyone is perfect all of the time.
One of the main issues is Melbourne Airport Corp keeps selling tickets to a sold out show at peak times. If the weather isn’t playing the game, expect some standing.
I guess ATC should just fix it with a vector...although I’m yet to get a vector that might fix someone who was late at the fix.
One of my fav sports is banter against ATC..but this stuff is just well...grinding my gears.

tuck
1st May 2018, 10:02
Descent speeds are generally a function of the Cost Index which will vary day to day unless the operator stipulates an SOP speed, plus VNAV or Managed descent won't necessarily control the speed to within 5 knots depending on data entered and actual winds. When given an RTA at Top of Drop to lose 10 minutes it is probably getting a little late. Move your flow control out to 300 miles or more and you might find a little more accuracy.

George Glass
1st May 2018, 11:24
Well,Oz you might like to re-read your post in the cold light of day.Juvenile?Check your spelling and grammar before you pontificate.The system is buggered.I dont care how much pressure ATC is under.20 years of neglect.Incompetent management and no-nothing politicians.The system has to be called for what it is.I'll be glad to be out of it shortly.Good luck for the rest of your career.Its only going to get worse.

Flava Saver
1st May 2018, 12:02
Ahhh yes Melbourne. Even Sydney smashes you guys harder as a better joint, and i hazard a guess a Ballina CTAF full of non talking operators. We always take an extra tonne or so because of the kinder surprise you get with a stupid ARBEY time you get day in day out, when the winds are favorable, yet the ATIS gives you something else.

We get COBT, no probs. Will ablige.

We fly to this crap s-hole and put up with the cancel ARBEY time and max speed to the field and then taxi on the worlds smoothests taxiways we’ve ever had the privilege to be on..... and yep, if you guys can’t figure out how to use runway 09 well, give the game away. This isn’t a CASA issue, this is Airservices. Pass the god damn pop corn...

Showa Cho
1st May 2018, 13:15
Just wait for the parallels.....you'll get your 09 action then!

Popgun
1st May 2018, 21:50
Move your flow control out to 300 miles or more and you might find a little more accuracy.

How about moving it out to 2500 miles. I've been in Australian airspace for 5 hours. Just give me a guaranteed reservation time at my feeder fix. If I make it there at the agreed time then don't mess with me! Losing 5-10 minutes over 5 hours in the cruise is safer and beneficial for the pilot and controller (less tactical workload), company and passenger (saves money) as well as the planet (saves petroleum and emissions).

I know I know, the system isn't strategic enough to cope with that level of foresight. Well it needs to change.

But..I have to agree with much of the sentiment here. Without pointing the finger at individual ATCers, the system of controlling in Oz (particularly MEL) is among the shitey-est in the world.

(Ps. And as an aside...whats with the snarky denials of a roll-thru on 34L in SYD when there is NO ONE on final or at any holding point waiting for take off!)

PG

missy
1st May 2018, 22:42
How about moving it out to 2500 miles.

Well, 12 months ago Airservices Australia undertook industry consultation on the viability of designing and installing a Long Range Air Traffic Flow Management (LR-ATFM) System for Australian airspace.

LR-ATFM is expected to deliver a range of benefits to the aviation industry and the travelling public, including reduced aircraft fuel burn, increased air traffic predictability and reduced controller workload allowing for more efficient operations.

LR-ATFM (http://newsroom.airservicesaustralia.com/releases/airservices-seeking-industry-innovation-on-long-range-air-traffic-flow-management)

Lead Balloon
2nd May 2018, 00:45
I can’t believe the suggestion that Australian airport and airspace infrastructure and management arrangements are anything other than cutting-edge, award-winning, punching-above-our-weight, world’s-best-practice, ICAO-compliant exemplars of efficiency.

I’ve heard rumours that Australia’s airport and airspace infrastructure and management arrangements are considered a joke, internationally, and Australia is called the only third world aviation nation in which you can drink the tap water. But those rumours are - surely - completely unfounded.

(PS: The above is not intended to be a criticism of individual controllers. It’s the system that’s broken.)

Vref+5
4th May 2018, 03:56
Air Services ATC services going slow? That's par for the course isn't it? Only place in the world I encounter holding. Or to be told to reduce to minimum speed >300NM from my destination, only to arrive and not see another aircraft in the terminal area, or while taxiing in.

Worst system in the world. Note I said system, not individuals.

LeadSled
4th May 2018, 08:15
Well, 12 months ago Airservices Australia undertook industry consultation on the viability of designing and installing a Long Range Air Traffic Flow Management (LR-ATFM) System for Australian airspace.

LR-ATFM is expected to deliver a range of benefits to the aviation industry and the travelling public, including reduced aircraft fuel burn, increased air traffic predictability and reduced controller workload allowing for more efficient operations.

LR-ATFM (http://newsroom.airservicesaustralia.com/releases/airservices-seeking-industry-innovation-on-long-range-air-traffic-flow-management)

Folks,
I always have a bit of a hollow laugh when I read things like this, as year as year after year, "way out" flow control is proven not to work, because there are just too many variables to destroy a "planned" touch down time. Ever wondered why places like EGLL establish final landing sequences close in, and get such high movement rates per runway??
A while ago, now, after being reduced to holding speed for about 30 minutes: "XXXX, maximum speed or faster for as long as possible"
Tootle pip!!

cessnapete
4th May 2018, 10:30
Seems an old system, Sydney too. I remember inbound to Syd early mornings from Sin. Some way out, ATC often said expect 20 mins holding at Parkes, I think it was.
I told them we could loose 10 min if we slowed to min cruise now to reduce the holding (better fuel outcome)
The reply normally was, even if we slowed down now the 20 min Holding would only start on arrival at the Hold point i.e. first come first served. Never understood the reasoning!

wasbones
5th May 2018, 03:18
The most efficient use of runway would be to have everyone go as fast as possible into low level holds close to the field where they are then vectored out in trail for a short downwind ie. EGLL.

In sacrificing runway efficiency by using feeder fix times you typically get to slow down in the cruise and or hold at higher levels. Iím guessing that would result in less fuel burnt for the same time delay?

But conversely overall delays increase because of opportunities missed. Number 1 on a max makes up 1 minute more than bargained for and suddenly youíve waisted 20 minutes of the networks time by slowing down the rest of that sequence by an unnecessary minute each. Its all a balancing act.

Theres definitely room for improvement. Airspace changes to have the feeder fixes closer to the airfield and thus have more predictable time intervals would be a good start.

Runway selection is another issue dictated by the rules we have to work if. I donít think anyone enjoys delays, including ATC. Changes to runway nomination would only really come from pressure from the airlines on Airservices / CASA / the government (noise).

neville_nobody
5th May 2018, 04:29
Or we could just build some more runways and/or airports and have infrastructure that actually meets the current/future demand.

Chris2303
5th May 2018, 08:18
I always understood that ATC were there to facilitate air traffic and not to (over) control.

Was I wrong?

good egg
5th May 2018, 15:44
Interested by a few quotes on here referring to EGLL.

i think some of your comments aren't that reflective of what happens there (I'm not an expert on EGLL btw) - but even I've noted their use of XMAN amongst other tools.

Very different kettles of fish IMO. Different in so many ways that the solutions are also likely to differ.

By George
5th May 2018, 21:24
I think people use EGLL as a yardstick because in the opinion of many, it is the best ATC out there. I know little from the ATC point of view but London does stand out. I flew with a previous company there on a regular basis for just over ten years and they certainly move the traffic with a minimum of fuss. It was not uncommon to get a landing clearance below 100ft with the aircraft ahead entering the high-speed exit. Tight, I must admit but it seemed to work and what's more it was all done with a sense of humour. Some of the funniest things I have heard on the radio were from London ATC. Even holding at Lamborne you seemed to move down the stack quickly. "Call Director Call-Sign only" the standard transfer. The whole operation designed to be slick. Our controllers are not to blame for our system but our system needs to change.

Trevor the lover
5th May 2018, 22:43
What about we all go balls to the wall, and then come in through initial and pitch - sort out separation on downwind???!!!!!!!!

Dora-9
5th May 2018, 23:15
I think people use EGLL as a yardstick because in the opinion of many, it is the best ATC out there. I know little from the ATC point of view but London does stand out. I flew with a previous company there on a regular basis for just over ten years and they certainly move the traffic with a minimum of fuss. It was not uncommon to get a landing clearance below 100ft with the aircraft ahead entering the high-speed exit. Tight, I must admit but it seemed to work and what's more it was all done with a sense of humour. Some of the funniest things I have heard on the radio were from London ATC. Even holding at Lamborne you seemed to move down the stack quickly. "Call Director Call-Sign only" the standard transfer. The whole operation designed to be slick. Our controllers are not to blame for our system but our system needs to change.

Absolutely spot-on, George. I couldn't agree more - always a pleasure to fly there....

Bleve
6th May 2018, 01:23
What about we all go balls to the wall, and then come in through initial and pitch - sort out separation on downwind???!!!!!!!! That's essentially what they do at EGLL - it's the civvy version of an I&P. You get cleared to a close in holding fix (Lambourne, Biggin, Ockham & Bovingdon) with out any speed control - first in best dressed. They are about 15-25 nm from EGLL and would be the equivalent of the initial point. Approach then pulls you of the hold and hands you over to Director nicely spaced for the arrival sequence. That's the equivalent of the pitch.

As LeadSled and wasbones have already pointed out - sequencing arrivals a long way out doesn't work (too many variables). Sequencing close in does - EGLL is proof of the pudding. I'll add my voice to others: It's our ATC system that is broken. My most recent example would be arriving into Brisbane and when 15 minutes from the fix told to lose 5 minutes. Despite what some controllers might think, that's impossible - up in the high FL300s we would stall before losing the required amount of speed. We said unable. So rather than giving us vectors, we were put in a hold. We did two laps of the pattern. On BNE APP we were the only aircraft on frequency. At 6 miles final, there was one aircraft getting airborne and one taxiing aircraft approaching the holding point. We held 15 minutes for that!

Capn Bloggs
6th May 2018, 02:17
From my point of view, Feeder Fix timings works well, combined with controlled taxi times/COBT. Plenty of aeroplanes inbound but it all works out pretty well, with not much holding. We generally do get more warning than 15 minutes though.
Quite frankly, where I operate, balls to the ball to the 36nm fix and then hold would be childish. Might need it at LHR, not here.

I'll say it again, for those complaining about having to slow down when high, have a look at your best holding altitudes. Get down, get slow and save fuel...

Bleve
6th May 2018, 05:23
... for those complaining about having to slow down when high, have a look at your best holding altitudes. Get down, get slow and save fuel...
Yeah ... but no. Not when you are losing time enroute (as opposed to losing time at a fixed location). We don't cruise to our destination at our best holding height and speed. Descending to our best holding altitude (enroute to the destination) will help you lose time, but it won't save you fuel.

Capn Bloggs
6th May 2018, 05:39
scending to our best holding altitude (enroute to the destination) will help you lose time, but it won't save you fuel.
Given that the flight time to the Feeder Fix will be the same whether you go low/slow/straight or stay high and hold, you will save fuel because the holding FF will be less than high altitude cruise FF. At least that's what happens in my aeroplane, and it is significant.

haughtney1
6th May 2018, 06:19
How many times am I told by an international heavy that they can't possibly lose 5 minutes from 250 miles out when I know they'll lose 4 minutes on profile? Regularly. Or they're early and when asked their speed the response is "280" or "300"? Again, a regular occurrence.

I’m regularly one of those annoying “International heavies” that can’t possibly lose 5 mins inside 250 miles, if you want to make a broken system worse, then continuously doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is merely insanity.
From a piloting perspective I prefer the UK, USA, NZ..pretty much everywhere else in the developed world way of doing things compared to Australia..why does it need to be so difficult?
If we use MEL as an example, there are plenty of comparable airports in the UK and Europe with the same mix of fast and slow traffic that seem to do just fine and are infinitely more simple to operate into, Hamburg being one off the top of my head.
Last time into LHR we got told 10 minutes from TOD, plan on conversion 280kts 15 minutes of holding at Lambourne..easy peasy and with an expectation of an onward clearance for the approach.
As for speeds on the arrival, everyone I fly with fly the published speeds unless unable.which is communicated or requested, but please don’t bleat at me when you ask for min clean and for me that’s 235-240kts, which is 20-30kts faster than the minibuses or baby Boeing’s you are used too.

LeadSled
6th May 2018, 07:03
Folks,
Time after time, over the years, at various consultative meetings in Can'tberra or wherever, reps. from Airservices have derided what happens at EGLL as the "bedpost" system of the feeder fixes, in favour of Airservices "preferred" "far out" sequencing.

It really does meet Albert Einstein's definition of insanity.

Indeed, in my experience, all the high traffic density airports (far more traffic than YSSY) use some form of close in metering to get remarkably consistent "over the fence" spacing.

In my view, conditioned by politically imposed inefficiency at YSSY, Airservices have never been forced to become efficient, and have had the "luxury", at the paying passenger's cost, of being able to indulge themselves, and to heck with the consequences.

And the results are there for all to see;

As the United bloke, years ago, on his last departure from YSSY said, on his last call, " ------ and congratulations of having the world's second best ATC".,
to which the controller replies:" ---- and who is the best",
to which the reply was (in a very Texas accent) "------ everybody else".

Sorry, guys ( I am told that "guys" is accepted as gender non-specific) , but like it of not, that is the general reputation of ATC in Australia, if you are an international operator in and out of Australia. No comfort for the good guys who undoubtedly do their best, but they are let down by many of their colleagues and the system.

As the then head of ATC once said to me: " But, XXXX, we have to allow for the lowest common denominator performance among controllers" .
My reply was: "My airline doesn't hire "lowest common denominator performance " pilots, why do you hire such controllers?? , or words to that effect.

Tootle pip!!

le Pingouin
6th May 2018, 07:26
Yes you do hire LCD pilots - everyone of you has good days and bad days, ever airline has some pilots who are better than others. You certainly don't plan for everyone to be near perfect all the time. Why do you think aviation is so regulated? Why do we continually think about Reason's Swiss Cheese? I bet you felt pleased with that one-liner, got one over 'im! :ugh:

Slippery_Pete
6th May 2018, 08:50
IMHO...

The system is vastly better in the states.... but the controllers are not.

macbe327
10th May 2018, 04:24
(Ps. And as an aside...whats with the snarky denials of a roll-thru on 34L in SYD when there is NO ONE on final or at any holding point waiting for take off!)

PG

I try and give a roll through where it works, but there could be reasons not immediately obvious eg international traffic waiting to cross further down, tugs in and out of the alley, bay occupied, ground want you off at the rapid because thatís what theyíve planned on(or are too busy for ask to ask for a late notice change), a turboprop southbound on Charlie that hasnít yet called but will likely be ready at the HP, director given the guy behind you a late notice change from R to L and jammed him in close behind.

Or the controller hasnt had enough coffee 🤷*♂️

missy
10th May 2018, 05:29
And as an aside...whats with the snarky denials of a roll-thru on 34L in SYD when there is NO ONE on final or at any holding point waiting for take off!)PG

Possible needs a separate thread.
Firstly, there is an "agreement" that pilots won't ask and that you'll be offered it if its available and works with the traffic.
Secondly, vacating via the rapid exit permits you call company to verify the bay. Rolling through to an occupied bay doesn't make much sense.

Capn Bloggs
10th May 2018, 06:05
Don't forget the Runway Occupancy Time statistics...

framer
10th May 2018, 14:00
Rolling through to an occupied bay can make sense if there is no down side from an ATC perspective. It still gives an upside to the aircrew/ aircraft side of the equation.

sunnySA
11th May 2018, 04:27
Rolling through to an occupied bay can make sense if there is no down side from an ATC perspective. It still gives an upside to the aircrew/ aircraft side of the equation.
What's the upside for the aircrew/aircraft?

Keg
11th May 2018, 12:19
Having to get off at an exit may require full reverse thrust and heavier braking. That delays engine cool down and takes longer before you can shut one down on taxi in. A roll through (and idle reverse) decreases the cool down time by up to three minutes. Thatíll save 30kg a go. Itíll save wear and tear on both brakes and engine. I canít quantify those numbers.

sunnySA
11th May 2018, 14:20
Having to get off at an exit may require full reverse thrust and heavier braking. That delays engine cool down and takes longer before you can shut one down on taxi in. A roll through (and idle reverse) decreases the cool down time by up to three minutes. That’ll save 30kg a go. It’ll save wear and tear on both brakes and engine. I can’t quantify those numbers.

I realise that there was a lot of variable, unless there is tailwind then I would think its unlikely that you'll need to use full reverse thrust and heavier breaking to make the rapids at either A2 or B9. Perhaps you need to review your exit speeds on this taxiways and get the call in to Ground so that they can you the cross or the taxi via if they need to park you a further distance from the apron. I'd like to keep the punters moving at a consistent but slower pace (the illusion of movement) rather than hurry up and wait. I'll be changing my control practices immediately to "hurry up and wait".

Sorry, its a thread drift but I think it highlights were are even further away from a common understanding, common purpose and common application.

As my colleague said all those years ago "don't trust pilots", was he wrong, many days he was 100% correct.

The name is Porter
11th May 2018, 14:58
I realise that there was a lot of variable, unless there is tailwind then I would think its unlikely that you'll need to use full reverse thrust and heavier breaking to make the rapids at either A2 or B9. Perhaps you need to review your exit speeds on this taxiways and get the call in to Ground so that they can you the cross or the taxi via if they need to park you a further distance from the apron. I'd like to keep the punters moving at a consistent but slower pace (the illusion of movement) rather than hurry up and wait. I'll be changing immediately to the hurry and wait, let them go onto the apron like the Qantas for bay 2 did this week. Conditional clearance to pushback given at bay 3 subject to the inbound to bay 2. Bay 2 pipes up - oh we're on bay 2. Great stuff.

Yet again an ATC sticking their ill informed nose into the cockpit. Forget who pays your wages?

Do your job and let them do their's.

RAC/OPS
11th May 2018, 23:33
Yet again an ATC sticking their ill informed nose into the cockpit.

Do your job and let them do their's.

Judging by the lack of ML tower responses on here maybe we think the same of pilots.

Chronic Snoozer
12th May 2018, 00:44
Yes you do hire LCD pilots - everyone of you has good days and bad days, ever airline has some pilots who are better than others. You certainly don't plan for everyone to be near perfect all the time. Why do you think aviation is so regulated?

Maybe its time to stop catering for the LCD all the time. Why doesn't the industry bring the standard up instead of continually ratcheting it down. Regulation doesn't solve LCD issues, it just drags everyone down with it.

Incidentally, I was SLF on a flight Cairns to Brisbane the other day and we were held for 25 mins on the ground prior to departure due to whatever issue ATC had at Brisbane. I know it wasn't weather or a runway disaster. Same happened Perth - Brisbane recently. I simply cannot fathom that Australia has such a volume of traffic that aircraft are held on the ground prior to departure to ensure a slot on the other side of the country. Talk about a broken system. Wait till the volumes really ramps up....oh yeah that won't be until 2100.

George Glass
12th May 2018, 04:39
There was a day,long,long ago,when ATC were Aviators,or,at the very least,had done observation sectors during training,so they had some idea how an aircraft operates.Major Airlines had regular consultation with AirServices to review performance,on both sides,with a view to improving the system.All that went out the window when the Howard Government went to full cost recovery at AirServices and sold off Melbourne Airport.The result decades later?The debacle we all live with today.The system today is C+ at best and sometimes way less than that.Whoever is to blame, let me ask ATC viewers this; do you want your family on an RPT flight out of say ,Canberra, carrying Company flight planned fuel that assumes NOTAMed holding (usually 10 minutes), on a gin-clear CAVOK day,that gets airborne and is immediately given a Hazard Alert of 45 minutes holding.Reason? Greater than 5 knots tail wind on Rwy 27.If anybody cant see the sheer stupdity of that then I'm on a different planet.And there is plenty more where that came from.The system is broken.Everybody on the rest of the planet knows it.

le Pingouin
12th May 2018, 09:24
Snoozer, "LCD" simply means the minimum standard, it says nothing about the level of that standard. Why is it so hard to understand that if more aircraft are planned to arrive than can be accommodated in a given period then there will be delays? Surely it's better to absorb some of the delay on the ground than by burning fuel in the air?

Lead Balloon
12th May 2018, 10:44
...The debacle we all live with today.The system today is C+ at best and sometimes way less than that.Whoever is to blame, let me ask ATC viewers this; do you want your family on an RPT flight out of say ,Canberra, carrying Company flight planned fuel that assumes NOTAMed holding (usually 10 minutes), on a gin-clear CAVOK day,that gets airborne and is immediately given a Hazard Alert of 45 minutes holding.Reason? Greater than 5 knots tail wind on Rwy 27.If anybody cant see the sheer stupdity of that then I'm on a different planet.And there is plenty more where that came from.The system is broken.Everybody on the rest of the planet knows it.No no no.

The rest of the planet is out of step with Australiaís award-winning, punching-above-our-weight, cutting edge, efficient and safest-in-the-world airport and airspace infrastructure and arrangements. This pretence must be maintained by the spivs who have been allowed to milk the hapless taxpayers who use airport infrastructure, the spivs who run Airservices, the spivs who run CASA and the spivs who run ATSB.

Chronic Snoozer
12th May 2018, 11:58
Snoozer, "LCD" simply means the minimum standard, it says nothing about the level of that standard. Why is it so hard to understand that if more aircraft are planned to arrive than can be accommodated in a given period then there will be delays? Surely it's better to absorb some of the delay on the ground than by burning fuel in the air?

Well....not really. It means that the standard is lowered to capture a broader selection of pilots/ATC whatever. As the pool of applicants dries up, the standard gets lowered to once again capture a broad selection. And so on and so forth. One could argue that making these jobs more appealing in terms of pay and lifestyle would raise standards as demand increases. Le Pingouin are you saying that air traffic management is as efficient as it can be? Is that it now - airports are full at peak times?

josephfeatherweight
12th May 2018, 12:20
Just my two bobs...
I reckon the guys and girls at the other end of the radio in Aus are really good value - returning home from O/S I am always glad to switch to Brisbane on HF and then my first contact on VHF. I always find the individuals are helpful and put in a maximum effort to assist with all sorts of stuff (CPDLC login issues/random requests/etc) within the confines of the system under which they work. In fact, most go out of their way to cheerily assist. I enjoy talking them, and I think they do a very good job.
Having said that, the ATC "System" in Australia is convoluted to the extreme, slow and inefficient. Eg Required time at fixes - particularly when one has smashed their way across the Great Australian Bight, only to be told to now do min speed to a relatively near fix. The traffic density in Aus does not justify this - the system should be smart enough to slow us an hour out, if it is REALLY required.
The separation requirement for lining up ahead of an aircraft on finals - in Australia, is this double that of the rest of the world? We often make the comment that we could have taken off twice before the aircraft on 10 mile final landed...
And, yes, in my experience, all of the above is exaggerated further in Melbourne - not sure why. Again, it's NOT THAT BUSY.
Some posters here have degenerated to a bit of "us" and "them" - it doesn't need to be like that, we need to work together to make it better.

Traffic_Is_Er_Was
12th May 2018, 12:20
Yet again an ATC sticking their ill informed nose into the cockpit. Forget who pays your wages?
Pot. Kettle. Black.
Ultimately, the same people who pay yours.

le Pingouin
12th May 2018, 13:20
Snoozer, yes really. Take a group of mythical skygods and gun controllers of yesteryear and there was still be a spread of skill levels. Everyone has days they'd rather forget performance-wise and events they learn from. That is the systemic envelope we all operate within. Or does nobody ever go around due to something they've stuffed up or never overcook the spacing between aircraft in a sequence in your world? No, I'm not saying it's as efficient as it could be, but at some stage no matter how much you jam 'em up you run out of capacity sooner or later if too many try to arrive within a given time.

You might be able to nail the fix time to 10 seconds from a 1000 miles out, fantastic. But it just doesn't work well in the real world when there are more than a few aircraft in the sky. Do they actually use that as a sequencing technique anywhere in the world?

The name is Porter
12th May 2018, 13:26
Pot. Kettle. Black.

Sorry mate, ex ATC of 26 years, Pilot of 30 years.

unless there is tailwind then I would think its unlikely that you'll need to use full reverse thrust and heavier breaking to make the rapids at either A2 or B9

How the [email protected] would you know unless you're braking and deploying thrust reverse?

Perhaps you need to review your exit speeds on this taxiways

And this unmitigated arrogance gazing out the window of a tower.

Do your job, not their's

GA Driver
13th May 2018, 08:16
You might be able to nail the fix time to 10 seconds from a 1000 miles out, fantastic. But it just doesn't work well in the real world when there are more than a few aircraft in the sky. Do they actually use that as a sequencing technique anywhere in the world?

The problem with this statement is, Australia nor Melbourne, are the only airports in the word that suffer from these problems.

le pingouin To be clear, these are NOT your words, but often the ATC response to any of these problems is, 'too many aircraft pop up between xxxx miles and the airport whilst your chugging along, we can't manage this any better as they aren't part of any program/plan/system' You have the flight plan, they're coming! When I've queried why the traffic holding can't be increased BEFORE I get airborne, the statement is much the same. 'We can't do anything about it.....'

Refer my statement above. Plenty of other airports have this issue yet don't have the problems. Sydney suffers from Canberra and Albury traffic just as much as Melbourne if not more.

Not attacking you mate, but you do seem to be in the know and the most dogmatic with response! :E

le Pingouin
13th May 2018, 13:48
GA Driver, would you care to edit the first sentence as I have no idea what you mean.

Would it work better the way Sydney does it? All barrel on in and get given minimum, vectored all over the sky, 250 knot descent? You certainly don't get given a fix time way out for Sydney either. The big difference is the STARS into Melbourne go to the runway and for Sydney they don't.

Derfred
13th May 2018, 17:23
Sydney has 3 runways that seem to function as 2 runways 99% of the time.

The big difference is that Melbourne has 2 runways, which seem to function as 1 runway quite often. Thatís when the holding happens.

The holding advisory doesnít change when Melbourne is likely to be running single runway. A pilot familiar with the Melbourne single runway issues can look at the forecast winds and predict this, but not all pilots have this local knowledge. In fact even the forecast winds are not necessarily a good predictor, as pilots only get the average forecast wind directon, not the variation, and a variation of above 5TW on 27 closes the duty runway.

Is it likely to help when/if a 09/27 parallel opens? Or will the third runway be hampered by the same issues as the existing 09/27? (i.e. south-easterly component continuing to reduce the airport to single runways? Or will it open a 09 option? Or course a strong northerly will still be a problem.)

GA Driver
13th May 2018, 18:53
le pingouin you said You might be able to nail the fix time to 10 seconds from a 1000 miles out, fantastic. But it just doesn't work well in the real world when there are more than a few aircraft in the sky.

I said Australia nor Melbourne, are the only airports in the word that suffer from these problems meaning plenty of places there are more than a few aircraft in the sky and don't have the issues Melbourne does!

I'm not so sure Sydney gets vectored all over the sky, 250 knot descent? as you put it. Yes it does happen, particularly during the 6-9am period, but not all day and generally less holding than Melbourne.

There seems to be something unusually bad about the Melbourne system, from sequencing to airborne delays often when there are few aircraft in the TMA. I don't know exactly what it is nor do I point the finger at someone making it that way, however there's plenty of feedback here to support that there IS a problem.

cessnapete
13th May 2018, 21:22
From experience of Mel some time ago operating a 747. The most inefficient use of runway occupancy. Line up clearance not given until landing aircraft past you at holding point, noĒ line up after landing 737Ē etc. And on even severe CAVOK days being denied lineup/ takeoff clearance because of landing traffic a dot in the distance. In most other Countries youíd get at least one heavy off and in USA perhaps two, in the separation ATC seemed to require.

morno
14th May 2018, 01:10
The lack of conditional line up clearances is a CASA problem, not ATC. Itís got to do with the stop bars

le Pingouin
14th May 2018, 06:30
GA Driver, how many times have you been given a fix time into Sydney coming in through the ML FIR? Rarely. I don't work Brisbane so can't say how they do it from that side. I know because I work the sectors that feed into the sectors that do the sequencing. They use speeds, vectors with generally a 250 knot descent, and holding, not fix times assigned to aircraft to achieve the Maestro times. Into Melbourne coming from the south, clockwise around to north you'll usually be given a time with vectors to lose the rest, until we go to holding. I know because I work those sectors.

Few aircraft in the TMA? How many aircraft can you fit inside 30 miles when there's an average 2.5 minutes between arrivals onto say RWY 16? Correct, the answer isn't that many. If they're all coming from the north it's 5 or 6 with the first touching down.

GA Driver
14th May 2018, 07:29
I donít disagree with your numbers, the amount of aircraft you can fit, nor the sectors you control. Simply put and as I said above, we donít get this amount, or frequency of delay into Sydney as Melbourne does.
Whether you apply feeder fix times or controlled descent speeds into SY is irrelevant to this. I didnt imply anything to the contrary.
How do I know this? Because I fly it most days as much as you control it.

You appear to get very defensive of any critique to this sequencing. As I said before Iím not having a shot at you personally, but as above, there is something unique (and ordinary) about the sequencing into Melbourne that appears to incur additional delay.

I have often wondered how the maestro holding gets worked out and is there any feedback to anyone further down the line (ie. from
the tower) as to how it worked out! No sh!t stirring, Genuine question.

parishiltons
14th May 2018, 08:41
You make many valid points.

Reads like you donít have a complete understanding also that TO Perf calculations just might have been predicated on a 90 degree turn onto the RNW.
So that limitation should be advised to ATC before taking up the runway that someone else could be using....

parishiltons
14th May 2018, 08:45
GA Driver, how many times have you been given a fix time into Sydney coming in through the ML FIR? Rarely. I don't work Brisbane so can't say how they do it from that side. I know because I work the sectors that feed into the sectors that do the sequencing. They use speeds, vectors with generally a 250 knot descent, and holding, not fix times assigned to aircraft to achieve the Maestro times. Into Melbourne coming from the south, clockwise around to north you'll usually be given a time with vectors to lose the rest, until we go to holding. I know because I work those sectors.

Few aircraft in the TMA? How many aircraft can you fit inside 30 miles when there's an average 2.5 minutes between arrivals onto say RWY 16? Correct, the answer isn't that many. If they're all coming from the north it's 5 or 6 with the first touching down.
That reads as very workload intensive. Go the feeder fix times as the first option then apply vectoring/holding iff needed.

le Pingouin
14th May 2018, 09:06
If trying to provide information and possible reasons is defensive? Given the tone of many of the posts is it any surprise? Industrial action? Really?!?

The tower doesn't care less about Maestro - it's just a tool for providing an ordered stream of arriving aircraft and they're not fussed about how it's achieved. The idea is Maestro puts aircraft in more or less the right place but arrivals tweaks the sequence to an extent and TMA tweaks it further - some for separation and some to account for the dynamics of the aircraft around you. Sometimes Maestro's wind and performance model isn't so crash hot and you get dead heats from different direction. I'll emphasise this - Maestro is a sequencing tool at the threshold and not a separation tool.

How it works: Maestro calculates your estimate for the feeder fix based on winds, levels in your flight plan (and as altered in-flight either automatically or manually as the auto doesn't work) and the TAS in your plan (and as updated manually by us on advice from you). It then calculates a time from the fix to the threshold via the STAR based on winds and performance data (based on historical data collected for type and airline). This sets an order but as your fix time is periodically recalculated by Maestro the order isn't fixed yet - this stage is called "unstable" as your position in the sequence isn't set.

The flow sets the acceptance rate - however many seconds between arrivals based on wind (your groundspeed is lower down final with stronger wind) the mode of ops (biased towards arrivals or departures) and type of approaches being used. No. 1 goes through untouched. No. 2 gets a fix time calculated (if necessary) based on the acceptance rate and 250kts from the fix. No. 3 gets a fix time to fit it the required time behind no. 2, and so forth. If there are several aircraft with untouched landing times within a few seconds the the sequence can jump around a lot - you might go from no. 1 to no. 5, so from no delay to 10 minutes (or whatever).

The next stage is "stable" where the sequence can still change but usually not with out manual intervention. Left to its own devices Maestro will make you "stable" 15 minutes from the fix - it won't update your untouched fix estimate further. Generally we'll set this quite a bit earlier to stabilise the sequence - we'll set an untouched fix estimate based on what we think you'll achieve (based on observed performance) or what we think you can achieve with track shortening and high speed if there's a gap. Once stable Maestro won't automatically change your untouched fix estimate but the order can still be changed by a close in departure getting away and being added to the sequence, or if we manually change it. Also blocks can be added to accommodate things like medical traffic into Essendon if needed or adding extra spacing behind A380s. Your feeder fix time can also change if an aircraft has their untouched fix time adjusted, placing them ahead of your untouched time.

There are two other phases, super-stable and frozen but they don't really have any further impact on times changing, other than for instance putting a go-around back in the sequence, but that's all manually done by the flow. FWIW we also have to insert Essendon traffic into the Melbourne sequence when vis is poor, although that's not too often. Adding a slot for Essendon medevac traffic is far more common.

Whether you are issued a time and vectors to lose the rest (if necessary) or a hold depends on how long the delays are going on for - at some stage the delays just get too large to absorb sensibly with speed reduction and vectors from a controller workload perspective. Maestro has reduced the amount of holding we do and the ground delay program has reduced it further. I can't quantify this but I certainly do less holding now than I have in the past.

le Pingouin
14th May 2018, 09:16
paris, fix times don't work so well when you've got aircraft coming from different directions converging on a common point a fair way out from the fix - they can end up being in the wrong order due to wind direction. Easier in some ways to peel them off and turn them in when the spacing is right.

parishiltons
14th May 2018, 09:31
paris, fix times don't work so well when you've got aircraft coming from different directions converging on a common point a fair way out from the fix - they can end up being in the wrong order due to wind direction. Easier in some ways to peel them off and turn them in when the spacing is right.
So pilots can't be trusted to meet assigned fix times? They know the winds better than ATC. Every piece of vectoring stuffs up the operational and environmental objectives of optimum trajectories. Also if there is convergence on the feeder fix from multiple directions that's an airspace design problem. The STAR should be such that all or absent that most flights are on a common path prior to the feeder fix. The feeder fix should not be confused with a holding fix - they serve different purposes. If you are running (say) a 10NM trail from the feeder fix into the approach area, then the times assigned to each flight should result in fairly accurate spacing, with a little speed control or vectoring to fine tune, particularly if anyone in the air is pushing the envelope time-wise. Any holding or severe vectoring should be over well and truly prior to the feeder fix.

parishiltons
14th May 2018, 09:40
If trying to provide information and possible reasons is defensive? Given the tone of many of the posts is it any surprise? Industrial action? Really?!?

The tower doesn't care less about Maestro - it's just a tool for providing an ordered stream of arriving aircraft and they're not fussed about how it's achieved. The idea is Maestro puts aircraft in more or less the right place but arrivals tweaks the sequence to an extent and TMA tweaks it further - some for separation and some to account for the dynamics of the aircraft around you. Sometimes Maestro's wind and performance model isn't so crash hot and you get dead heats from different direction. I'll emphasise this - Maestro is a sequencing tool at the threshold and not a separation tool.

How it works: Maestro calculates your estimate for the feeder fix based on winds, levels in your flight plan (and as altered in-flight either automatically or manually as the auto doesn't work) and the TAS in your plan (and as updated manually by us on advice from you). It then calculates a time from the fix to the threshold via the STAR based on winds and performance data (based on historical data collected for type and airline). This sets an order but as your fix time is periodically recalculated by Maestro the order isn't fixed yet - this stage is called "unstable" as your position in the sequence isn't set.

The flow sets the acceptance rate - however many seconds between arrivals based on wind (your groundspeed is lower down final with stronger wind) the mode of ops (biased towards arrivals or departures) and type of approaches being used. No. 1 goes through untouched. No. 2 gets a fix time calculated (if necessary) based on the acceptance rate and 250kts from the fix. No. 3 gets a fix time to fit it the required time behind no. 2, and so forth. If there are several aircraft with untouched landing times within a few seconds the the sequence can jump around a lot - you might go from no. 1 to no. 5, so from no delay to 10 minutes (or whatever).

The next stage is "stable" where the sequence can still change but usually not with out manual intervention. Left to its own devices Maestro will make you "stable" 15 minutes from the fix - it won't update your untouched fix estimate further. Generally we'll set this quite a bit earlier to stabilise the sequence - we'll set an untouched fix estimate based on what we think you'll achieve (based on observed performance) or what we think you can achieve with track shortening and high speed if there's a gap. Once stable Maestro won't automatically change your untouched fix estimate but the order can still be changed by a close in departure getting away and being added to the sequence, or if we manually change it. Also blocks can be added to accommodate things like medical traffic into Essendon if needed or adding extra spacing behind A380s. Your feeder fix time can also change if an aircraft has their untouched fix time adjusted, placing them ahead of your untouched time.

There are two other phases, super-stable and frozen but they don't really have any further impact on times changing, other than for instance putting a go-around back in the sequence, but that's all manually done by the flow. FWIW we also have to insert Essendon traffic into the Melbourne sequence when vis is poor, although that's not too often. Adding a slot for Essendon medevac traffic is far more common.

Whether you are issued a time and vectors to lose the rest (if necessary) or a hold depends on how long the delays are going on for - at some stage the delays just get too large to absorb sensibly with speed reduction and vectors from a controller workload perspective. Maestro has reduced the amount of holding we do and the ground delay program has reduced it further. I can't quantify this but I certainly do less holding now than I have in the past.
The feeling is more that it is a Melbourne cultural issue - not just ATC but the whole nanny-state rules bound approach to everything. Look at the post by the person who thinks it is OK to do a 90 degree turn on to the runway rather than a rolling start from the holding point and take up additional runway occupancy time at the expense of everyone else. It seems to be pervasive in Melbourne, from road rules to industrial relations to (sadly) aviation. Regardless of how safe something is, lets just be rules-based and use the most restrictive procedure available, rather than the most facilitative. Sorry, can't do the most facilitative because it is Tuesday and there is a full moon next week. It says so in the book. This narrative probably seems weird to a Victorian, but it is how things there are perceived from beyond. Cheers.

le Pingouin
14th May 2018, 10:06
Optimal trajectories is all about individual aircraft and we're dealing with a whole system - optimising that is a different problem to optimising an individual aircraft. It's nothing about trusting pilots. It's about limited ability to lose time with a tailwind vs a headwind. And which phase of flight pilots choose to lose the time - some reduce a lot in the cruise, others do it all on descent. The convergence is some distance from the feeder fix so you can have considerable difference in ground speed - e.g. 480kts ground speed from the north vs 380kts from the SW. The spacing will be good eventually, but until the ground speeds are comparable separation can be an issue. I've had extreme cases where ground speeds have been 200kts different due to wind direction and a huge headwind increase over a couple of thousand feet. Front aircraft 5 miles ahead at the turn opened up to over 10 before it has slowed. Maestro does not provide separation.

parishiltons
14th May 2018, 11:59
Optimal trajectories is all about individual aircraft and we're dealing with a whole system - optimising that is a different problem to optimising an individual aircraft. It's nothing about trusting pilots. It's about limited ability to lose time with a tailwind vs a headwind. And which phase of flight pilots choose to lose the time - some reduce a lot in the cruise, others do it all on descent. The convergence is some distance from the feeder fix so you can have considerable difference in ground speed - e.g. 480kts ground speed from the north vs 380kts from the SW. The spacing will be good eventually, but until the ground speeds are comparable separation can be an issue. I've had extreme cases where ground speeds have been 200kts different due to wind direction and a huge headwind increase over a couple of thousand feet. Front aircraft 5 miles ahead at the turn opened up to over 10 before it has slowed. Maestro does not provide separation.
Where there is a common track to the feeder fix then wind is less of an issue. The concept of pilots choosing when and how to lose time is also old fashioned and any residuals in this area are gradually being addressed by airlines and hopefully the ANSPs. The pilot correctly would set the time at a fix and let the aircraft do the rest - anything else such as manual intervention results in operational and cost efficiency losses.

le Pingouin
14th May 2018, 12:28
How do you get a common track for all the RIVET arrivals into Sydney? They have to converge somewhere......

Different types, different weights, different companies - all perform differently even when the aircraft is doing it. An AIrbus heavy will often be 10,000ft lower than a 737 at 100 miles. Sorry, it's all wonderful when you're the only aircraft in your bit of the sky but it doesn't work so well when you're not. We have to separate you the whole time, not just at the feeder fix. That's why you can't just do your own thing.

framer
14th May 2018, 14:52
Iíd be very surprised if any 737 operator had an OPT that didnít predicate the 27 take off performance data on a 90 degree line up. The tops dogs at Air Services surely meet regularly enough with the Chief Pilots to be fully aware of this kind of critical operational information though and considering that they are all part of their respective Ďleadership teamsí Iím sure they Ďcascadeí the information down to the ATCís and line pilots. All part of a days work to keep the working boys and girls singing from the same hymn sheet. Iím sure those sorts of Leadership Tasks are completed before lunch and certainly before considering critical KPI drivers such as discretionary fuel uplift and OTP.

cessnapete
14th May 2018, 15:51
The lack of conditional line up clearances is a CASA problem, not ATC. Itís got to do with the stop bars

Then change the rules and operate like most other worldwide busier airfields! Would free up the departure rates.

parishiltons
14th May 2018, 16:17
Maybe its time to stop catering for the LCD all the time. Why doesn't the industry bring the standard up instead of continually ratcheting it down. Regulation doesn't solve LCD issues, it just drags everyone down with it.

Incidentally, I was SLF on a flight Cairns to Brisbane the other day and we were held for 25 mins on the ground prior to departure due to whatever issue ATC had at Brisbane. I know it wasn't weather or a runway disaster. Same happened Perth - Brisbane recently. I simply cannot fathom that Australia has such a volume of traffic that aircraft are held on the ground prior to departure to ensure a slot on the other side of the country. Talk about a broken system. Wait till the volumes really ramps up....oh yeah that won't be until 2100.
That would be the GDP, surely?

Capn Bloggs
15th May 2018, 02:34
The concept of pilots choosing when and how to lose time is also old fashioned and any residuals in this area are gradually being addressed by airlines and hopefully the ANSPs. The pilot correctly would set the time at a fix and let the aircraft do the rest - anything else such as manual intervention results in operational and cost efficiency losses.
What, pray tell, was that supposed to mean? Or... Pauline Hanson!

flightfocus
16th May 2018, 14:44
Quote:Originally Posted by morno https://www.pprune.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (https://www.pprune.org/australia-new-zealand-pacific/608129-mel-tower-go-slow-5.html#post10146056)The lack of conditional line up clearances is a CASA problem, not ATC. It’s got to do with the stop barsThen change the rules and operate like most other worldwide busier airfields! Would free up the departure rates.

Absolutely!! A simple yet effective example of how out of touch and restrictive Australian ATC and the associated bureaucracy have became. I'm a former OZ ATC now working with the blinkers removed and it has been a revelation.

The international hub I now work at has at least 1,200 movements a day - every day! We can push 46 departures and 36 arrivals an hour on a two RWY - one in, one out set up. We have stop bars everywhere. We can give an aircraft a conditional line up clearance behind the one in front that has a conditional line up clearance to line up behind the one on the RWY. Using stop bars no less. Oh the humanity........

The goal is to be as efficient as possible and get everyone moving. Make it work. Procedures have been developed to achieve that outcome. It can be done and is being done elsewhere in the world. The parochial, "that's how we have always done it" 'leaders' need to stop patting each other on the back and get on the with the game.

Some other examples of Australia being left behind in the ATC world.......NATS time based sep (https://www.nats.aero/tbs/).............RECAT-EU (http://www.eurocontrol.int/articles/recat-eu)...............Dubai Capacity Enhancement (http://www.dans.gov.ae/How-we-Innovate/Capacity-Enhancements)..

As that famous philosopher Mr F. Bueller once said, "life moves pretty fast...."

morno
16th May 2018, 15:00
I never said it was a good idea, I was simply pointing something out. Just ensuring the blame doesnít get thrown on the ATCís fault when theyíre just following the rules.

Want change? Go lobby CASA

flightfocus
17th May 2018, 06:57
I never said it was a good idea, I was simply pointing something out. Just ensuring the blame doesnít get thrown on the ATCís fault when theyíre just following the rules.

Want change? Go lobby CASA

Agree 100% !!!

I know the Australian ATC's are doing a great job given the circumstances. There is a lot if pride within their ranks and they maintain high professional standards. There should be no blame apportioned individual controllers. In fact almost all ATC's I know like the challenge of being busy and the satisfaction of moving the traffic as efficiently as possible. It's a win win situation - the less time the spend talking to you, vectoring you or holding you then the better for them (less work) and the better for you (more efficient)

I think an earlier post was very perceptive when they observed that the Australian ATC system is busy, but not busy enough to really challenge the established practices and procedures. Combine that with absurd political interference (ie: YSSY noise sharing farce) and you have a system that is treading water at best. YSSY is a classic example of an airport that will be increasingly constrained into the future based on the artificial movement cap and the noise sharing circus. Don't see the fabled Creek helping - its already a mess and it isn't even built yet.

The problem as I see it now is that the people in charge don't have any valuable experience beyond climbing the greasy pole. Recent appointments show what a closed shop it is and how the same old faces with the same narrow views and experience move between provider, regulator and safety inspector. Cushy semi government positions with little accountability beyond the occasional Senate show and tell sessions where they have to say sorry once in a while. The lines are too blurred, and the flotsam and jetsam rising from the worker bee's are had picked to join management as they don't rock the boat, nor bring confronting views or ideas. Pats on the backs all round.

The ideas about flow control from entering the Australian FIR are fanciful - maybe ahead of their time for now at best. All of the examples I cited in the above post were airports and providers developing procedures to enhance capacity and better utilise the airspace that is available. Airspace close to the airport. It doesn't matter how long you 'flow' them for. You still have to land one at a time on the same piece of tarmac.You have to get them closer together on final and get them off the RWY faster. Frequently this requires investment in upgraded facilities such as RWY's and TWY's. When you move from an airport with one or none rapid exit TWYS, to one with multiple RETS you instantly see the efficiencies that can be gained by that single change. Its not rocket surgery!!!

But instead Australian airport operators are only interested in fleecing any person who dares enter their shopping lairs or car parking goals to boost 'shareholder returns' for the mum and dad investors - oh and the outrageous executive bonus's that have become normalised in Australian corporate circles.

maggot
17th May 2018, 07:44
I believe I've read that conditional clearances require more supervision from a controller due to rules, thus more manpower, thus a privatised provider means that they don't happen so.much? At least in Melbourne it seems.
Which is a shame as they're much better from a pilot and efficiency pov

RAC/OPS
18th May 2018, 00:05
I believe I've read that conditional clearances require more supervision from a controller due to rules, thus more manpower, thus a privatised provider means that they don't happen so.much? At least in Melbourne it seems.
Which is a shame as they're much better from a pilot and efficiency pov

Not true, at least it isnít in Australia unless some units have specific instructions. As another poster has said, CASA or someoneís deemed that conditional clearances and stopbars donít mix. Not sure why.